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Competition and Facilitation: A Synthetic Approach to Interactions in Plant Communities

Ragan M. Callaway and Lawrence R. Walker
Ecology
Vol. 78, No. 7 (Oct., 1997), pp. 1958-1965
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Ecological Society of America
DOI: 10.2307/2265936
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2265936
Page Count: 8
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Competition and Facilitation: A Synthetic Approach to Interactions in Plant Communities
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Abstract

Interactions among organisms take place within a complex milieu of abiotic and biotic processes, but we generally study them as solitary phenomena. Complex combinations of negative and positive interactions have been identified in a number of plant communities. The importance of these two processes in structuring plant communities can best be understood by comparing them along gradients of abiotic stress, consumer pressure, and among different life stages, sizes, and densities of the interacting species. Here, we discuss the roles of life stage, physiology, indirect interactions, and the physical environment on the balance of competition and facilitation in plant communities.

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